The readings provided for this week provide views on the usefulness and limitations of online sources, as reprints of the original source material. Amy Earhart speaks about the importance of race and gender in the humanities, and how the digitization allows for a wider access of their information hypothetically. So long as the programming does not exclude the minority groups it can serve to preserve and share different cultures.
The archive from the Ahmed Baba institute is evidence of this preservation of cultural history. An interesting note about the institute which has a South African backing(hence my liking it), it preserves and goes over some Islamic texts. Other than translating and uploading some texts for people to see, it is especially interesting to me personally, as a historian, most Greek writing and what we know about ancient Greeks and Romans comes from the writings of Islamic Scholars. Which is an example of how humanities serves to preserve different cultures, in this case even more than just the intended group.
McGann, writes about the importance of understanding the limitations of digital archives. As a student currently doing my senior capstone here at pacific I can speak first hand to the limitations to using only online digital collections. These collections in reality are just the first step for a researcher. It shows them if the archive will have sources they may potentially want to use. The best example of this I think can be seen in a museum example. The image here is the “Death of Socrates” a famous painting in the MET. It is by far one of my favourite pieces of art but the digital image of it is nothing in comparison to being in front of it. So as the title of this post goes, the digital archives serve really as the Rabbit hole. It is an opening into expanding ones field of view so that a person can focus in on that which interests them and speaks to them. As such is works as a tool, to aid in the spread of ideas and knowledge for society as a whole. Well society that has open internet access and is able to access files, but that is a different topic.